Review based on a national syndicated rating report for the week ending August 23, 2020.
As the 2019-20 season comes to a close Judge Judy shrugged off a ton of pandemic preemptions, which began back in March, and has once again emerged as syndication’s number one show in the household ratings with a first place 6.2 live plus same day season to date national Nielsen as of the session ending August 23.
That was more than double the full season rating of any other syndicated daytime program. This marks 11 consecutive years for the legendary courtroom strip at the top of all first-run programs (every year since 2009-10).
Coming closest to the daytime dominant “Judy” were shows that mainly air in prime access time periods: Family Feud (6.1 season to date), Jeopardy (6.0) and Wheel of Fortune (5.8). Of course, access typically has far higher viewing levels than daytime.
For the session ending August 23 the only two major first run shows in the plus column were the week’s overall ratings leader Judge Judy (three-week high 5.5, up 6% from the prior frame), which grew despite being completely in reruns, and Dr. Phil (1.9, up 6%).
“Phil,” which finished the year with the top household rating among talk shows (full season 2.2) has been syndication’s highest rated talker every year since 2011, including a first place tie in 2015-16.
For the current session ending August 23 Dr. Phil led the chat-fests for the ninth time in ten weeks and was down only 5% from last year at this time, the smallest decline of any of the top talkers.
Live with Kelly and Ryan (1.5 for the week ending August 23) was down 17% from the same week one year ago. Further back were Maury (1.0, down 23% year to year) and Ellen DeGeneres (0.9, down 36% from last year), which remained at the lowest rating in its 17-year history for the second week in a row.